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Mersey Movies

Posted November 20, 2009 to photo album "Mersey Movies"

FilmInFocus’ Nick Dawson picks out 10 films made in Liverpool that demonstrate the city’s diverse cinematic history.

Slide 1: Introduction
Slide 2: The Magnet (1950)
Slide 3: Gumshoe (1971)
Slide 4: Letter to Brezhnev (1985)
Slide 5: Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988)
Slide 6: Hear My Song (1991)
Slide 7: Backbeat (1994)
Slide 8: Hilary and Jackie (1998)
Slide 9: Formula 51 (2001)
Slide 10: The Parole Officer (2001)
Slide 11: Millions (2004)
Slide 3: Gumshoe (1971)

Slide 3: Gumshoe (1971)

The great British director Stephen Frears (Dangerous Liaisons, The Grifters, The Queen) graduated from television directing to make his feature debut with this affectionate tribute to the private detective genre. The Liverpool setting is central to the film, and is announced with a caption in the movie's very first shot as we hear Albert Finney – who plays a restless bingo caller – deliver his first dry, Humphrey Bogart-esque monologue. On turning 31, Finney's character decides to pursue his dreams and advertise his services as a P.I., and quickly gets a case closely resembling one from a Sam Spade or Philip Marlowe adventure. Released on DVD earlier this year, Gumshoe may now be something of a poignant viewing experience for Liverpudlians as it depicts city landmarks – such as the Lecce Street employment exchange – which were long ago consigned to rubble.